Featured post

Recent posts

How human services charities stepped up and filled the gap in 2020

January 18, 2021

Human services charities provided an essential lifeline in 2020 to millions of Americans grappling with the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. Indeed, the unprecedented events of the year reinforced the deep-seated value and tangible impact of organizations that support... Read more

5 Questions for...Lisa Mensah, President and CEO, Opportunity Finance Network

January 15, 2021

After serving for two years as under secretary of agriculture for rural development in the Obama administration, Lisa Mensah joined Opportunity Finance Network, a leading network of community development financial institutions, as president and CEO in March 2017. In November,... Read more

Prioritize public education in our philanthropic COVID-19 response

January 12, 2021

With the arrival of effective vaccines against COVID-19, the end of the pandemic may finally be in sight. Yet the crisis in public education, one deeply exacerbated by the virus, will continue to wreak havoc beyond 2021. If they have... Read more

DAF donors showed us who they were in 2020 

January 11, 2021

Grantmaking from donor-advised funds (DAFs) is up — and it's up enormously. At National Philanthropic Trust, our grant dollars doubled in 2020. Other DAF sponsors reported a similar pattern. What is it about DAF donors that makes them respond so... Read more

Make America whole: how to heal our divided society

January 08, 2021

On Wednesday, a white man strolled into an office, settled down in a leather chair, and casually put his dirty boots on the desk in front of him. I saw this, and I wept. For this was not his office,... Read more

Most popular PhilanTopic posts in 2020

December 31, 2020

Most of us are beyond relieved that the end of 2020 is in sight, but when historians, artists and writers, and grandparents sharing stories of the good old days look back on it, this longest of years is likely to... Read more

3 ways to decolonize philanthropy right now

December 23, 2020

The events of 2020 reinforce how desperately a paradigm shift is needed in philanthropy if it hopes to create more durable solutions to the world's most complex challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how important it is to have agile, innovative... Read more

5 Questions for...Starsky Wilson, President and CEO, Children's Defense Fund

December 18, 2020

In September, the Rev. Dr. Starsky D. Wilson was named president and CEO of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), succeeding Marian Wright Edelman, who in late 2018 transitioned into the role of president emerita of the organization she founded almost... Read more

5 Questions for...Amoretta Morris, Director, National Community Strategies, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

December 10, 2020

Amoretta Morris joined The Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2013 as a senior associate responsible for overseeing the Family-Centered Community Change initiative. In 2016, she was named director of the foundation's national community strategies, in which role she leads its... Read more

The 'stay interview': how an HR practice can help nonprofits engage their supporters

December 08, 2020

My primary responsibility at the nonprofit where I work is to raise philanthropic dollars for our work, though I've also become deeply interested in the concept of organizational development — what we can do as an organization to foster the... Read more

Businesses must help nonprofits working to address COVID-related needs

December 07, 2020

Nonprofits are a key part of the U.S. economy — collectively, the third biggest employer by sector. And when the nonprofit sector is healthy and functioning, it benefits the for-profit sector as well. A recently published report found that nonprofits... Read more

Career transitions during a pandemic: things to consider

December 04, 2020

As an executive recruiter focused on the nonprofit sector, I can definitely say that along with everything else in our lives, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on recruiting and hiring. When the pandemic was first declared in March and... Read more

Challenging ableism through language justice

December 03, 2020

Social justice movements have long recognized the power of language. The idea of language justice — "the right everyone has to communicate in the language in which we feel most comfortable" — has helped bridge the equity gap when people... Read more

Being bold in a time of uncertainty

December 02, 2020

If there has ever been a time when we need to embrace bold solutions in education, especially to the challenges faced by the underserved, now is the time. And at this critical juncture, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and foundations should lead... Read more

How Social Issues Influenced Voting by Young Americans

November 24, 2020

The research team I lead at Cause and Social Influence tracks the behaviors and motivations of young Americans (ages 18-30) with respect to social issues and movements. And while plenty of issues have drawn the attention of young Americans in... Read more

Learning as compromise: a hard look at evaluation in today’s nonprofit sector

November 12, 2020

The past two decades have witnessed a shift in the nonprofit sector with respect to the practice of evaluation, from evaluation as outcome assessment toward evaluation as part of a broader goal of "learning." Perhaps by design, philanthropy has not... Read more

The next crisis: nonprofit leadership exodus

November 10, 2020

Nonprofit leaders are exhausted. Indeed, many were planning to leave their jobs even before 2020 happened. They include white boomers looking to retire, young leaders of color trying to navigate cultures not ready to accept them in positions of power,... Read more

A conversation with Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women

November 04, 2020

The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the nomination — and likely confirmation — of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime appointment on the court have intensified the debate over... Read more

Planning for the coming economic recovery by building careers

November 02, 2020

As communities across the nation continue to deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19, leaders are looking at immediate ways to keep families afloat, from extended unemployment benefits to stopping evictions. That's the right thing to do, for the individuals... Read more

Why regulatory modernization is essential to a nimble human services system

October 30, 2020

Over the last eight months, we've all watched as existing health inequities were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also learned that social determinants of health — conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, and... Read more

Nonprofits, philanthropies lead effort to ensure paid time off for staff to vote

October 28, 2020

In early September, Global Citizen and HeadCount, a nonpartisan organization that uses the power of music to drive voter registration and participation among youth, announced Just Vote, a three-year initiative to encourage U.S. employers to provide paid time off for... Read more

Dismantling systemic racism requires philanthropic investment in AAPI communities

October 27, 2020

As the nation grapples with its legacy of systemic racism and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on poor people and communities of color, philanthropy needs to take a stronger stand for a community that too often is overlooked: the 22.6... Read more

5 Questions for...Michael Nyenhuis, President and CEO, UNICEF USA

October 22, 2020

UNICEF — the United Nations Children's Fund — is probably best known to Americans of a certain age for the orange trick-or-treat boxes it has been distributing to young trick-or-treaters since the 1950s. The successor to the International Children's Emergency... Read more

For organizational resilience and impact, focus on business model not overhead

October 21, 2020

It has always been a source of angst for ambitious not-for-profit organizations: how to ensure they can sustain and scale up impact while also building resilience to weather financial or other shocks. Often the focus is on increasing core or... Read more

5 Questions for Walter Katz, Vice President, Criminal Justice, Arnold Ventures

October 19, 2020

After beginning his career as a public defender in Southern California, Walter Katz spent the next three decades in public service, serving as an independent police auditor in San Jose, California, and as deputy inspector general for the County of... Read more

The role of offline and online behavior in advancing social causes

October 15, 2020

In May, when George Floyd, a Black man, was killed while in police custody, igniting protests across the country decrying police brutality against African Americans, the research team I lead at Cause and Social Influence was already tracking the response... Read more

Evaluation has a key role to play in racial equity work

October 13, 2020

As a woman of color, evaluator, and nonprofit leader for more than ten years, I am encouraged to see a growing number of foundations and nonprofits embrace efforts to advance racial equity and justice. At this uncertain moment in our... Read more

America is ready for a more equitable economy and society

October 12, 2020

The social ferment we're seeing in Louisville, Kenosha, and many other parts of America is fueled by more than a legitimate revulsion over systemic racism as manifested in discriminatory policing. It has broader underpinnings, led by widespread frustrations with economic... Read more

Why don’t nonprofits have the tech they need?

October 08, 2020

The world had big challenges — even before a global pandemic arrived. According to the Social Progress Index, we were on pace to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 no sooner than 2094, more than sixty years too... Read more

A conversation with Mari Kuraishi, President, Jessie Ball duPont Fund

October 06, 2020

Mari Kuraishi came to prominence as president of GlobalGiving, which she co-founded with her husband, Dennis Whittle, in 2002. During her time there, the crowdfunding platform facilitated over $514 million in giving by more than a million donors to twenty-seven... Read more

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."


    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

Subscribe to PhilanTopic

Contributors

Guest Contributors

  • Laura Cronin
  • Derrick Feldmann
  • Thaler Pekar
  • Kathryn Pyle
  • Nick Scott
  • Allison Shirk

Tweets from @PNDBLOG

Follow us »

Filter posts

Select
Select
Select